Is Entrepreneurship Right for You? How to Transition from a Corporate Career

CareerPro Inc.Forbes Coaches Counsel

Is entrepreneurship right for you? Consider the pros and the cons.

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Most people love the idea of having their own business, but are they cut out for it?

Especially if you’re burned out from the office setting, a dose of freedom in the form of being your own boss can sound nice. However, to understand if entrepreneurship is really the right choice for you, it’s important to consider the pros and cons.

Below, 13 members of Forbes Coaches Council discuss what you need to know.

1. Don’t Recreate The Hamster Wheel 

Many entrepreneurs get caught in the same kind of hamster wheel that they were in when they had a regular J-O-B. You have to take an active role in creating the work experience that you actually want, not the one you’re familiar with. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll find yourself in the same overworked, overstressed environment that you wanted out of in the first place. – Jenn LedererJenn Lederer, LLC 

 2. Give Yourself Permission To Change And Grow 

Despite your technical expertise, years of experience and wealth of contacts, nothing will prepare you for the nuanced questions and circumstances you’ll suddenly face, especially during the first few years. Whether updating your client agreement every two minutes, raising your rates every month, or scampering to update your list of services, be open to an evolution you never could have expected. – Jared RedickThe Résumé Studio 

3. Don’t Jump — Wade Into The Water 

Wade into the water slowly, methodically, and with great pre-research. Don’t open that coffee shop on the corner just yet. Find out your brand, your personality, your passions, and ensure that those passions are what you want to do to make money. To make money doing something you love seems like a nice mantra, but you may not want to make money making coffee or beer for someone else for the rest of your life. – John O’ConnorCareer Pro Inc. 

4. Find An Entrepreneur To Shadow 

Whether starting a different type of business or transferring your existing skill set, find a mentor to shadow 24/7. Walk in the shoes of a true entrepreneur to understand the level of total responsibility, mental gymnastics, intestinal fortitude and undeniable accountability. This self-discovery, baring of truths experiment, will be your greatest investment of time and energy. – Donna SpinaCoaching InDeed Inc. 

5. Know Your Numbers 

The scariest thing about venturing off on your own is the loss of secure income. Determine both what you need to make and what you want to make. Cultivate work to cover the base need, and then you can be selective about the work. When you are clear about your numbers and have your bases covered, you will feel less desperate for work and, in turn, are more compelling to potential clients. – Michelle Tillis LedermanExecutive Essentials 

6. Get Ready For Everything 

Entrepreneur CEOs become “Chief Everything Officers.” Everything means just that. You may be making big decisions but also taking out trash. Anyone coming from large corporate world may be used to having people do things for them. You’ll have to get past that very quickly. If you were buffered from consequences, you now will be totally exposed. It’s not for the feint of heart. – Doug ThorpeHeadway Exec 

7. Don’t Jump Alone 

“What have I done?” It’s scary. You are on your own, but be sure you have people with you willing to be supportive as you make the change. Near in folks (family) will be fearful. That’s okay. So are you. Learn and share the ups and downs together. Build your team of advisors: financial, marketing, tech, subject matter experts, etc., and ask them to challenge you and call you out when needed. – Tim RessmeyerRessmeyer Partners 

8. Be Flexible And Fast 

Vet your ideas with someone you really trust to narrow down what is viable. Check in with yourself to incorporate their ideas with what feels right for you. Then, adapt fast and keep moving. Remember that all business is about serving the customer, so when you are stuck on a decision, err on the side of giving more and your business will thrive. Give. Give. Get. –Tanya 

9. Know How To Manage Risk 

“An entrepreneur is someone who jumps out of an airplane and figure out how to make a parachute on the way down.” While a bit extreme, to be an entrepreneur requires that you start doing. Doing means failing, getting up and doing again. You manage risk by increasing your knowledge. Managed well, risk isn’t risky. If you’re not willing to jump, you may not be ready for entrepreneurship — yet. – Larry BoyerSuccess Rockets LLC 

10. Act Like The Beginner That You Are 

The biggest new business owner mistakes are well-known and avoidable, but most people make them anyway. Once reaching a certain level of expertise, few egos can stand the thought of being a beginner again. The solution? Swallow your pride and embrace a beginner’s mindset. Start by reading 10 top-rated entrepreneurship books, ensuring at least one covers lean startup methodology. – Taylor JacobsonTeamPossible: Achieve more of what matters 

11. Focus On Clients And Revenue 

A long career in a corporate setting — that may mean you have established policies and procedures to guide you. Entrepreneurs get to establish their own rules. It’s important to follow Pareto’s Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule. Of all the work you need to get done to be a success business, 20% of your clients and efforts will net you 80% of your profits. Ensure you focus on big rocks first. – Chad CooperFactive Nautics Coaching LLC 

12. Explore Your Behavioral Profile 

Take a personality profile, such as Myers-Briggs, DISC, StrengthsFinder, Predictive Index, CareerLeader, etc., to best understand your default fears, emotions, perspective of your environment, and communication preferences. Knowing these things will help you be productive with your time, hire talented people to complement your style, refine your task list, and create ways to recharge your batteries. – Michael S. SeaverSeaver Consulting, LLC 

13. Assess Your Fit For Stepping Out 

Most everyone wants to own their own business, but not everyone is ready or a good fit for this path. I can’t stress enough the importance of seeking professional assessment and business coaching so that you can first assure you have the right temperament to succeed on your own. And second, to make sure you don’t reinvent the wheel when there are proven success strategies available. – Laura DeCarloCareer Directors international